Palm Beach SC Women will enter the Finals Series in ruthless form after blitzing Moreton Bay United Women 18-0 at Mallawa Complex on Sunday.
Jets fielded only nine players from the outset and felt the full brunt of Sharks’ scintillating attack as Deeanna Thompson scored four to return the pressure to Golden Boot rival Greta Bodey.
Gary French’s side now meet The Gap Women in a fortnight to determine the first Grand Final qualifier, while Jets return to the foot of the ladder.
Plenty of pre-game interest surrounded Thompson’s tally but it was teammate Stephanie Latham inflicting the early damage with two goals inside 10 minutes.
Meg McElligott soon raced onto a through ball to make it 3-0 and though the understaffed Jets held firm for a further 10 minutes, the midfielder doubled her tally with another neat finish for Sharks’ fourth.
Thompson released Terri-Amber Carlson to become the third scorer midway through the half before the New Zealand international turned provider for Lauren Brown to net her first of the afternoon.
Despite being denied by both the post and stubborn Jets goalkeeper Renee Rudder, Thompson broke through for two fine finishes before the break to move level with UQFC’s Bodey and help Sharks to an 8-0 half-time advantage.
Rudder almost won out with another save shortly after the restart but Brown was on hand to tap-in the rebound.
Latham then capped her first strikes of the season by making it a hattrick in the 53rd minute ahead of a brief dry spell.
The visitors continued in their attempts to play out from the back but endured another blow when promising attacker Zozia Sen was withdrawn through injury.
Carlson, Thompson and Brown each boosted by their tallies by creating four more across a 16-minute spell in a sign of their looming post-season danger.
The flood of goals only increased towards full-time as Laura Sevil joined the scoresheet, Thompson made it 32 for the season, and Brown and Carlson grabbed their fourth and third respectively.
Speaking after the match, Sharks attacker Lauren Brown outlined her team’s intent for improving on second in the Finals Series.
“Well done to The Gap (on winning the premiership). We had a couple of unlucky games during the year where one or two things could have made us Premiers, but we’re not so we will give it all we have got for finals,” Brown said.
Adding his pride in the effort, Jets coach Gary Ward used the platform to explain the reasons for his side’s player shortage.
“Through injury and sickness we have struggled with numbers all year. Today reflects the lack of depth we have in that first team,” Ward said.
Palm Beach SC Women 18 (Stephanie LATHAM 1’, 9’, 53’ Meg McELLIGOTT 14’, 24’ Terri-Amber CARLSON 26’, 61’, 89’ Lauren BROWN 31’, 50’, 70’, 88’ Deeanna THOMPSON 37’, 42’, 65’, 83’ Own Goal 77’ Laura SEVIL 81’)
Moreton Bay United FC Women 0